Testing the new toys

Staff Sergeant Stephen Linch from the 352nd Special Operations Group public affairs answers questions about the exercise at RAF Fairford between December 9th and 12th. All images by Stephen Linch, unless otherwise stated.

Question 1: What was the purpose of the exercise? Was it an Operational Readiness Exercise similar to what we’ve seen at RAF Fairford before?

Answer 1: This exercise was a training event designed to ensure the group is able to practice and evaluate our ability to efficiently forward deploy our newest assets, the CV-22 and MC-130J.

Q2: What was the name (if any) and purpose of the exercise?

A2: The exercise was simply referred to as Special Operations Group Logistics Exercise 2013 or LOGEX 13.

Q3: Why is RAF Fairford the choice location for this exercise?

A3: RAF Fairford is a perfect location for us to test our ability to forward deploy our new CV-22s and MC-130Js. These new aircraft bring enhanced and new capabilities, and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to test ourselves so close to home. (attribute to Col. Christopher Ireland, 352nd Special Operations Group commander.)

Q4: During the exercise, what types of missions or scenarios were conducted?

A4: The 352nd SOG flights during this exercise were the same local lines we fly out of RAF Mildenhall. Airdrop, low-level flight, tactical landings and aerial refueling were conducted.

Q5: What numbers of aircraft/personnel deployed?

A5: Approximately 130 personnel and six aircraft (3 CV-22, 3 MC-130J) deployed for the exercise.

Q6: How many MC-130J/CV-22B are now on strength with the 352nd SOG?

A6: Currently there are three MC-130Js on station with a fourth scheduled to arrive soon. The 352nd Special Operations Group has five CV-22s.

Q7: What will be the full complement of aircraft?

A7: We expect to have 10 MC-130Js and 10 CV-22s in the next several years.

Q8: Any future plans to continue to utilize RAF Fairford?

A8: At this time we aren’t prepared to comment on future operations, however RAF Fairford is a valuable site for training and may be utilized in the future.

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